Gearing Up the Warrior
Colossal Skull-Clad Cleaver Binds when picked up Two-Hand Axe 507 - 761 Damage, Speed...
To begin, let us define the basic stats so you know what contributes to what.
- Strength - We hit stuff on a regular basis. Hit harder with more of this. Block harder with it as well. This is a high priority stat no matter what your build, directly impacting your Attack Power and Block Rating.
- Agility - The two main traits of agility, to us Warriors, are Dodge and Critical Rating. However, we don't mind getting hit with our huge mitigation, and that builds rage. As such, this is primarily an offensive statistic.
- Stamina - We are the life of the party. Literally. If we go down, either the raid follows in about a minute, or substantial DPS is lost and the fight might just last long enough for you to go pick up a pizza. So if you can get this on gear, do it.
- Intellect - This does not exist. If you wear a piece of equipment with this stat on it, you will be laughed at unless it provides ridiculous bonuses otherwise, or it looks damn good... but we'll still laugh at you in that case too.
- Spirit - This barely exists. Wrath of the Lich King has blessed us with an innate self heal, and even before that, you should never ever look at this stat on an item and say "Oooh, 49 spirit!" Seriously, leave this to the cloth weaklings.
- Armor/AC - Wear tougher, get hit for less. Unless a mail (or leather before 40) piece has wild stats that you can't live without and you wouldn't be stealing it from a class it was designed for, stick with the heavy metal. Considering we live on the front lines, you can't go wrong with this.
We'll get into the ugly details of numbers in a later article. For now, this will do.
Obviously, we want to hit stuff hard, and survive to hit stuff longer. Strength and Stamina are the bread and butter of every single plate wearing badass you see. When you're leveling in the old world, this means taking "of the bear" as your prime target for green equipment. So you now know what you want, and you're looking to make some big HP pools and big yellow numbers for those puny mages to look at, with a side of speed to make things bleed more heavily than usual. Here are some of the old world instance highlights for these stats.
- In the late 20's, Razorfen Kraul is a Warrior's dream. The Tusken Helm and Ferine Leggings (should you have an opportunity to go for them) provide a huge boost in your firepower. Corpsemaker, with its slow speed and perfect stats, will make you king of the PVP bracket and last you until your Whirlwind weapon, and the main quest gives a perfect belt. Don't forget about this place if you're Alliance!
- Pick up the Scarlet Monastery quests ASAP! Both factions can get a good one hand sword, Alliance gets a near perfectly aligned 2h axe option and Horde gets a good neckpiece option. From the Armory, the most important piece would be the Raging Berserker's Helm, which you will likely use into the low to mid 40's, but many good drops are from that boss and you will likely have a lot of competition. Every warrior should be carrying around an Aegis of the Scarlet Commander as well, regardless of spec; it's simply too good.
- Sunken Temple has an often overlooked boss that is right up every warrior's alley. Atal'alarion has one fantastic waist drop, and a good polearm for warriors. With a little luck, you might get a Drakeclaw Band that will last you until Outlands.
As you probably know, at 58, you'll be hitting the road to Outlands and beyond. Now you should have a good idea of what's what to your stats. Starting with Outlands gear, you can specialize further into the statistics with the improved itemization from quest rewards and instances. Let the girly men squabble at the auction house for hours on end, we have better things to do!
Fury - Critical Rating is extremely important to keep flurry up. Until you get what you want in this school and move to Deep Wounds, the majority of your damage is raw physical auto attacks. Improved Berserker Stance increases your attack power by a percentage, so get all the strength you can to make those Bloodthirsts inbetween your whirlwinds more brutal! At this point in time, Hit Rating gear will make itself known. Do not neglect it, you'll need some to counteract your innate miss due to dual wielding. Any trinket that boosts your attack power is fair game. Make a macro that hits Death Wish, Recklessness, your trinkets and any other gear or racials and unload!
Arms - Critical is not as important as Fury due to having Improved Overpower and the new Overpower Glyph. With those in play, almost every mitigation that cancels your attack will enable a surefire deep wounds strike. Some +hit will be necessary, but since you're moving to Northrend and not raiding at 70, you can almost neglect it and go for more critical instead. Stick to the big slow two-handers, and make every mortal strike count! The Rend Glyph is your friend if you're thirsty for free overpowers!
Protection - Defense, Parry, Dodge, Block. You have a lot of ground to cover here, but you are also about 5 times as resilient as the above builds. Take what you can for the above stats and fight at your own steady pace, and use the new and improved Cleave Glyph in conjunction with your shield block talents to show those paladins what a real tank can do soloing multiple enemies. Any trinket that gives you an emergency health boost or defense boost will serve you well when things get dicey, but since you fight a war of attrition, trinkets with constant boosts to stats are likely the better call. Don't forget your shield spikes!
By the time you reach the later Outlands, you'll have a good feel for what items suit your talent spec and play style. If there is one thing you should keep in mind no matter what you do as a warrior on the way up, play to your strengths, don't cover your weaknesses. Be a single target wrecking crew, be a whirlwind of multiple mob fury, or be a steel wall of mitigation that lets no blow through to himself or his allies. Just don't try and do it all. You know what we call those people who try to do it all, and end up being the middle of the road? Druids.
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